Monday, June 23, 2014

The work is moving forward like never before!!!!

Hello all family and friends!!!
Slovenia is sunny and warm, but not too warm.  It is not anywhere close to 90 degrees again. But the summer is now beginning. School is over and people are heading out to the coast for vacation. Let the summer evacuation of Slovenes slowly begin now. Then again though, I will soon be joining them in a few weeks.
So Elder Stott and I worked really hard this week, and we had a lot of fun.
It all started last Monday where we had a zone p-day together with all the elders in Celje. we played ultimate Frisbee and was great for building unity and getting to know each other. Everyone was invited, but most of the sisters ditched out on coming. Even the Celje ones even though it was their own city! But it was a great day, and we started an exchange there that night too. Elder Deringer came back with me to Ljubljana and we had a great Monday night and Tuesday together. We really got to know one another and worked hard talking to people.
We had a great lesson with one of the less active members Elder Stott and I met a few weeks ago who has very fond memories of all the members and church, but hadn't been in many years following a really bad car accident. But we began teaching him the doctrine again, and it was a powerful experience for him. Then, yesterday, he organized himself with one of the other active member families out by him to give him a ride to church, and he came!! For the first time in many years. He was incredibly excited and happy, greeting everyone who came by. He had a great experience before leaving.
Also, on Friday Elder Stott and I had the opportunity to go to the Slovene coast, Izola, where a member lives. She had come to church in Ljubljana for the first time in months three weeks ago and I met her there, got her number and set up. She is so incredibly strong. She goes to church every single Sunday in Trst about 30 minutes away in Italy because it is an hour and a half away to Ljubljana, even though she cannot speak any Italian, and no one there can speak any Slovene. She struggles, but she endures and is a contributing member there, organizing FHE activities and giving talks sometimes on Sundays, using the help of a computer to translate to Italian.
She said though that she had been praying for years that the missionaries in Ljubljana would not forget her, and that she would one day have the chance to be taught the gospel again in her native language of Slovene. And so she said that us coming was an answer to her prayers after many many years of faithfully enduring with the Lord for this request. She was so happy and broke down in tears a few times. After the lesson and lunch, we then went to go find some people we thought lived on the coast  who were members, and she was the best. She had no fear to ask anyone for help, and she was a great asset.
Also, in the mission, we have had the goal of 500 people attending church in the mission on one Sunday before President Rowe leaves, and this last Sunday we achieved it!!! President says that when he arrived about this time three years ago there were about 300 people coming in the mission. Then yesterday we hit 502 total. Miracles. It has been amazing being able to be a part of that too, especially here in Ljubljana. Since the time I arrived here in Frebuaryish, Ljubljana's attendance has jumped significantly. What was once a record high for attendance here in March is now becoming the usual.
Amazing things are happening as we say goodbye to President Rowe this weekend. On July first the new mission president, President Grant arrives. It will be a great time to improve even more. We also have a baptism scheduled here in Ljubljana from the Celje branch on Saturday, which will be the first baptism in Slovenia in 6 months, and the first baptism from missionary efforts in... nearly a year? A very very long time. It is wonderful. Miracles are happening and people are coming to Christ like never before.
Here's to great success in the next week in the Lord's Kingdom moving forward!
-Much love
-Starešina Benson

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